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Meet the Trustees

We have a diverse collection of people who are Trustees. All of them have had wide ranging experiences, but above all they all agree with the Pestalozzi ethos, which is helping to produce talented young people.

Susan Walton

Susan Walton

Chair and Company Secretary

Sue was appointed as Pestalozzi International Village Trust’s CEO in July 2011. Prior to joining PIVT Sue had a 25-year career in investment banking where she specialised in aviation finance, latterly becoming Head of Structured Finance for Rolls-Royce Capital Limited and Chairman of the British Exporters Association. Sue then turned to the third sector taking on both executive and non-executive roles. Sue retired as Pestalozzi’s CEO at the end of August 2019 and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Trustees. She is also the Company Secretary of the Pestalozzi International Foundation and its trading arm. Sue is an Independent Director of Fly Leasing Limited, a NYSE-quoted company, and chairs their Nominations and Corporate Governance Committee. She is a Trustee of the Sussex East Area Meeting of Quakers, a Trustee of Raystede Animal Sanctuary and a member of the Finance Committee of the East Sussex College Group. She enjoys scuba diving and photography, often combining the two pursuits!

Aaron Eckhoff

Aaron Eckhoff

Vice-Chair

Aaron was elected to the Board of Trustees in July 2019. He came to the UK in 2006 as qualified teacher in the US as well as New Zealand. He has a BA in Mathematics Education with a minor in Physics from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Aaron has been Director of Sixth Form at Claremont since 2016, overseeing its development and taking it from a traditional model to one that is hugely diverse in terms of the academic offering with a comprehensive enrichment programme centred on developing students personally, academically, and professionally. This is very much in line with the Pestalozzi ethos and provided an environment where Pestalozzi students were able to thrive. He also served as Head of Mathematics from 2013 – 2018 at the school.

Linda Blank

Linda Blank

Trustee

Linda was elected to the Board of Trustees in March 2020. Linda started her career in consulting at Accenture Strategy, where she was tasked with providing strategy advisory services to FTSE500 corporates from a variety of industries, including FMCG, retail, healthcare and financial services. Having tried many different industries and functions, she developed a focus in digital transformation and business model innovation strategies. She was a founding member of new department, helping big businesses develop new growth strategies using digital business models, often seeking inspiration in start-ups. After nearly five years at the company, Linda joined SUITCASE Group, a travel media start-up consisting of SUITCASE Magazine and SUITCASE Creative Studio. As a Chief Operating Officer her role is really versatile and includes growing existing revenue streams like exciting partnerships; coming up with new business ideas and creating an actionable plan for the strategic direction. Outside of work, Linda is an avid supporter of women’s and children’s charities, having served as the Vice-Chair of Unicef’s Next Generation London, a group of young professional volunteers committees to fundraise on behalf of children affected by some of the world’s worst crises. A former IB student herself, Linda is an advocate of education and is committed to help others achieve their full potential.

Alexandra de Meyrick

Alexandra de Meyrick

Trustee

Alexandra was elected to the Board of Trustees in October 2019. Alexandra came to the UK in 2000 from Australia. Seeing the great opportunities that exist in the UK and in Europe for, among other things, education, career, travel and culture, she decided to make her life here. Alexandra studied law at King’s College London and qualified as a Solicitor. As a Solicitor, Alexandra has worked in the UK, Germany and in the United States of America, both in private practice and in-house and advises in relation to debt finance, equity finance and commercial law matters. Alexandra is passionate about education and in facilitating access to high quality education for all children. She believes that education is fundamental in building a fairer, more prosperous and more progressive society, and in creating opportunities for all.

David Little

David Little

Trustee

I first became involved with Pestalozzi in 2018 working with the students at the International Village as a volunteer chemistry tutor.  I was impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and sense of social responsibility of the students and when their base moved to Atlantic College I was pleased to continue to play a part in their journey as a trustee.  My background is in science and education.  After postgraduate research in biochemistry at Southampton University and postdoctoral work at University College Swansea I worked as head of the chemistry department in a sixth form college in Essex where I live.  Since retiring in 2012 I have continued to work as a chemistry tutor and also as an A-level examiner for one of the national exam boards.  I am also a volunteer classroom assistant at my local adult education college.

Sandra Elkins

Sandra Elkins

Trustee

Having spent nearly three wonderful years working at the Pestalozzi village supporting incredible students, I knew I didn't want my involvement to end with the closure of the village, hence asked to join the board of trustees.

I gained my English degree and Master's degree late in life, as due to financial pressures I left school at sixteen.

Education has been the springboard for wonderful opportunities in my life and I'm passionate that everyone should have access to good education.

I believe that in supporting Pestalozzi I can help to create a fairer world for all.

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Inspiring young people to make a difference in the world.